Shaw sees glimmer of banking hope for ganja businesses

Audley Shaw has welcomed news of the passage of the SAFE Banking Act in the United States, which could lay the foundation for addressing correspondent banking issues that remain a major challenge for legal cannabis producers.

“It is of significance…the passage yesterday (Wednesday) in the United States of the Safe Banking Act,” the minister of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries declared yesterday.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives in the United States passed a measure opening the banking sector to sellers of cannabis, who have struggled to safeguard their earnings from the booming marijuana industry.

For his part, director of the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), Delano Seiveright, said the successful passage of the SAFE Banking Act in the US House of Representatives, which seeks to amend federal law so that banks and other financial institutions can work directly with state-legal cannabis businesses, signals the possible game changer in the global cannabis market.

However, he was quick to add that it “is still early days”.

“It really is a huge development, as the issue of lack of access to banking for legal cannabis businesses represents a juggernaut for many in the legal industry globally, and particularly in Jamaica where our legal cannabis industry is literally being stifled, limiting growth of the sector, ‘down pressing’ job creation and restricting agriculture development in many rural areas, and consequently inhibiting the development of rural communities,” Seiveright said.

Seiveright and Shaw were speaking at the opening ceremony of the three-day CanEx Jamaica — Business Conference & Expo at Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James yesterday.

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